USA: die 2 Studenten konnten nach 5 Wochen aus der Schlucht geborgen werden

Die Leichen der beiden thailändischen Studenten, die in Kalifornien mit ihrem Wagen verunglückt und in eine Schlucht gestürzt waren, konnten nach über fünf Wochen geborgen werden.

Der Unfall hatte sich am 26. Juli ereignet. Aus unbekannten Gründen kam der Mietwagen von Thiwadee Saengsuriyarit, 24, und Bhakopon Chairattanasongporn, 28, von der Straße ab und stürzte in eine Schlucht, an deren Boden sich der Wildwasserfluss Kings River befindet. Um Rettungskräfte nicht zu gefährden, war eine Bergung der Leichen und des Fahrzeugs zunächst nicht möglich. STIN berichtete hier.

Die Angehörigen und die thailändische Vertretung in Kalifornien appellierten an die Behörden, endlich für eine Bergung zu sorgen. Thailändische Rettungsmannschaften hatten angeboten, in die USA zu fliegen und selbst die Bergung zu übernehmen.

Am 1. September schließlich setzten die Amerikaner 60 Leute, Sonderausrüstung und Hubschrauber ein, damit die Leichen endlich geborgen werden konnten.

Tony Botti, der Sprecher des Sheriff’s Department sagte, solch eine Operation habe es in Fresno seit 26 Jahren nicht mehr gegeben. Die Mannschaft plante und übte die Bergung eine Woche lang, bevor mit der Operation begonnen werden konnte.

Am 1. September stiegen zwei Hubschrauber auf, flogen in die Schlucht und ließen ein Team mit Kabeln zum Fahrzeug herab. Die Rettungsmannschaft verband das Auto mit den Kabeln, und ein Hubschrauber konnte das Fahrzeugwrack, das mitten im Wasser stand, in Ufernähe ziehen.

Das am Grund der Schlucht stationierte Rettungsteam konnte dann die Wagentüren öffnen und die Leichen aus dem Fahrzeug holen. Die beiden Toten wurden dann wiederum mit Hilfe eines Hubschraubers nach oben transportiert.

Vor Ort befanden sich Familienmitglieder der Opfer und ein Mönch, der religiöse Riten vornahm.

Sheriff Margaret Mims teilte dem thailändischen Konsulat in San Francisco mit, dass die Rettungsmannschaft die Bergung in der Nähe in ähnlichem Terrain eine Woche lang geübt habe, damit die tatsächliche Operation sicher und ohne Zwischenfälle ablaufen konnte.

Die Einäscherung der Toten soll in den USA stattfinden. Die Familie von Bhakopon will seine Asche vor der Küste von Los Angeles dem Meer übergeben, die Asche von Thiwadee soll nach Thailand überführt werden.

Dieser Beitrag wurde unter Allgemeines veröffentlicht. Setze ein Lesezeichen auf den Permalink.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10. September 2017 12:26 pm

Wenn man im eigenen Land überhaupt nix gebacken kriegt
hetzt man gegen das Ausland.
Das war bei Thaksin, seinen Marionetten und bei seinem Nummerngirl
schon so.
Und da die Militärdiktatur schon lange mit ihrem Latein (555) am Ende ist
bleibt nur dieser Ausweg,

After Pakkapol „Golf“ Chairattanasongporn, 28, got his bachelor’s degree in engineering at one of Thailand’s top universities, he became the hope of his family. He landed a good job at a Japanese company, where he worked for two years before deciding to further his education.

Golf was accepted for a master’s degree in industrial engineering at the University of South Florida in the United States. He left Thailand two years ago to pursue his goal.

Going to the US was Golf’s shot at giving his family a better future. His parents were not particularly affluent, but they worked hard to raise the required funds for their son to study overseas.

The close bond he shared with mother Supin Chairattanasongporn led him to call her every day of the past two years spent living in the US on the Line app.

He was on track to graduate this year, but before that and his return to Thailand, he wanted to go on a vacation in the US.

He invited his friend, Thiwadee „Min“ Saengsuriyarit, 24, to join him on a camping trip at Kings Canyon National Park in California.

His family knew he was taking the trip. They weren’t surprised — he was an adventure lover. It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime, but what Golf didn’t know was that it would also be the last trip of his life.


The trip that Golf and Min were on was going well. They rented a car and Golf was confident at the wheel. But after July 26, Ms Supin never heard anything from her son. He hadn’t left her a single message or even shared an update on his Facebook.

Ms Supin became distressed over the idea that something bad had happened to her son. Friends of Golf and Min started using social media to publicly inquire about their whereabouts.

The Thai world of social media began to pick up on the matter. After less than a week, a missing person advert featuring Golf and Min started circulating on social media. The whole country became consumed by the mystery of where they were and what had happened to them.

One week after the missing person ad was issued, Ms Supin’s worst fears were confirmed. She heard from a Thai news agency in the US that Golf and Min had got into an accident at Kings River, where their car was found at the bottom of the gorge.

It appeared that Golf had overshot a road curve and plunged into the river. The car was still visible above the surface of the river. The first attempt to rescue the two Thai students had failed due to poor weather conditions and the strong river currents in late July.

The next rescue attempt was scheduled for Aug 7. But by the time the date came around, the rescue team still felt it wasn’t safe to launch.

As time passed, the families of Golf and Min arrived at the realisation that they likely wouldn’t see their loved ones return alive. Too much time had passed for them to survive in such conditions. They accepted that the rescue mission would only really be a body recovery mission.

Day after day, the mission still failed to launch. Golf and Min’s families, and the Thai social media world, began to question if, had the victims had been white US citizens, the rescue mission would have proceeded any differently. Were they mistreated because of their race? Or were the conditions truly unsafe for a rescue?


The families had been waiting for over a month when the bodies of Golf and Min were recovered from the rapid waters of Kings River on Sept 1. The bodies of the friends were taken to Pimarn Mortuary in Los Angeles for a religious ceremony, which included the cremation of the bodies.

The family was still reeling over how countless pleas for a swift rescue mission seemed to have gone ignored. Ekkachai Taidecha, a contractor and uncle of Golf, told Spectrum that he felt his nephew got treated unfairly. He couldn’t bear to wait while nothing was done to advance the rescue mission.

„I waited for two weeks before I heard that local rescue officers were going to launch the first mission on August 7,“ Mr Ekkachai explained.

„But then they cancelled it. The second time they scheduled another mission, it was also cancelled. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t do anything.

„I knew the water was rough but they could have at least tried to fly a drone over to check and see if the bodies were still there.“

„I began to think that this response had to do with racial discrimination. Were they not helping my nephew and his friend because they were Asian? I know racism is one of the most serious problems in America. I only hoped this wasn’t the case.“

After Mr Ekkachai realised American officials were taking their time with the mission, he decided to turn up the pressure himself. He contacted a local rescue team and took them to the US embassy in Bangkok to protest with him.

He wrote a long statement for the US ambassador, requesting he put added pressure on US officials. However, no follow-up came of the statement. He then told the media that if the US officials didn’t do anything, he would take the Bangkok rescue team to Kings Canyon and cover the expenses of the mission himself.

Mr Ekkachai also went to Parliament House and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the hope of meeting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to raise his concerns.

He never received any response from the US embassy or government officials in Thailand, but he didn’t give up. He kept issuing statements, producing one after another. He issued at least eight letters to a slew of officials, expressing how disappointed he was with the response to his nephew’s accident.

Finally, officials in California issued a statement explaining why the rescue mission had yet to launch and what they planned to do. Although the exact time frame of the mission was not determined, they explained that the slow reaction had nothing to do with the victims‘ race. The rescue team had protocols to follow, they said, and their main concern was the ultimate safety of the mission.


Thousands of people have followed the rescue mission on social media, with many reacting angrily to the slow response of the rescue team to the car crash.

Spectrum contacted Sura Jaidwatee, an in-flight medical director, surgeon and doctor. Dr Sura, who has trained in several countries, has expertise in rescue and helicopter emergency missions.

Based on his assessment, he said that the local officials‘ delayed rescue mission had nothing to do with racial discrimination but much to do with safety issues.

„For us rescue teams, there are two things we have to know before launching any rescue mission — the safety of navigating the scene and the vital signs of the victims,“ said Dr Sura. „If either of these two are missing, rescue missions won’t be launched as we can’t risk the lives of the rescue team to help the victims if they are no longer alive.

„If the victim is still alive and we find that the scene is not safe enough, the rescue team will wait until the risk is not as high and they will try to use any resources they have to rescue that victim.“

Dr Sura was not involved in the rescue team for Golf and Min, nor does he know anybody from that team. However, he says from experience that had the same incident taken place in Thailand or elsewhere in the world, the protocol would be the same.

„Thai people are too worried about the racial issues and the family of these two Thai students were being very sensitive, which is understandable,“ he said. „If I were them, I would react the same way.

„But I can guarantee from my experience that the delay of the rescue mission was purely due to safety issues.“


Since he heard of the Thai students‘ accident, Dr Sura has been monitoring the water flow of the Kings River. The river consists of melted ice from the mountains in the area, meaning the flow varies depending on the season.

When the ice melts following winter, the stream turns into a swift water river with lowered temperatures. When the rental car was first found at the bottom of the gorge, the water flow was measured to be 1,700 cubic feet per second (cfs), raising a red flag for the rescue team.

„If the water flow is higher than 400 cfs, the rescue team can’t really do anything to help,“ Dr Sura explained.

„The water temperature was around 10 degrees Celsius [when Golf and Min’s car was found]. This is why the rescue mission took so long before it launched. As I said, the rescue team must wait to make sure that the scene is safe first before they can launch any mission.

„A healthy person would pass out within 30 to 60 minutes of getting into water with a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius or less. Then within three hours, they would die.

„But in this case the car plunged from the top of the cliff down to the bottom of the gorge from a height of approximately 150 metres, which is roughly equal to the height of a 50-storey building. Technically speaking, they would have got injuries from the fall even with the air bags activated in the car.“

Considering the height the car fell from and the water temperature, Dr Sura says that the chance of Golf and Min would make it out alive after the accident was very slim. He further explained that the real problem was not the difficulty of getting to the bottom of the gorge, but how to lift the car up from the gorge at that height.

„The river is situated at the bottom of the canyon and the wind in the canyon itself is unpredictable,“ said Dr Sura. „No matter what the wind is like above the canyon, it’s a completely different situation in the canyon.

„The strong wind in the canyon would have made it difficult to launch a helicopter rescue and the downwash wind created by the helicopter would have added even more difficulty to the mission. The helicopter could be blown by the heavy wind in the canyon and no one would survive that crash.“

After working in his field for over 10 years, Dr Sura has built a large network of rescue teams in different areas. One rescue team member he worked with mentioned he had previously done training at Kings River.

He recalled, when flying over the gorge, that he could see at least 10 cars lying in the river. Given the difficulty of the terrain, many vehicles that have perished there are simply left in the river without ever being extracted.

„One thing I want to emphasise is that safety issues come first for rescue people like us,“ said Dr Sura. „No matter what happens, everyone must ensure that the scene is safe enough before launching any rescue mission.“


Search-and-rescue crews from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office finally pulled the rental sedan to the riverbank on Sept 1, then retrieved the bodies of Golf and Min from the car, according to Tony Botti, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

The bodies were flown in a California Highway Patrol helicopter to a nearby roadside for transfer to the Fresno County Coroner’s Office. Family members of Golf and Min were standing by that day during the recovery effort. The bodies were sent for autopsy and the DNA test results revealed a match with the parents.

Ms Supin thanked the media in California, the Thai community in Los Angeles and Thai people at home who supported her over the course of these past few weeks.

„As a heartbroken mother, it had been the most difficult 38 days of my life,“ Ms Supin wrote in a long letter of thanks to those involved in the rescue. „My son and Min had their whole lives ahead of them. I raised my son to be a good person and Min’s parents also did the same. But today I lost my son forever.

„I can’t thank everyone enough for the physical and mental support throughout the whole time I was here in the US. Even though I can’t have my son back, I at least know now he is in a better place.“

Mr Ekkachai travelled to the US to attend his nephew’s funeral at Pimarn Mortuary in Los Angeles. Both Golf and Min will be cremated in the US. Min’s ashes will be brought back to scatter in Thailand, while Ms Supin decided to scatter Golf’s ashes in the US.

„I would like to thank everyone who was involved with this rescue mission, especially the Thai consulate in Los Angeles who offered their help with every step since my sister arrived in the US. I would like to say that the reason that I react a lot on media is not that I want to be popular or anything. I only did it to put pressure on local officials in America,“ Mr Ekkachai explained.

„I still question if this is a double-standard practice for different races. I will bring this question to ask officials in Fresno, California. I need a good explanation on the slow process of this rescue mission.“

Tut mir leid dass ich den ganzen Salm aus der BP hierhin gebracht habe.
Ich habe dazu nur 2 Anmerkungen aus eigener Erfahrung:
Wenn er als Thai einen guten Job bei einer seriösen japanischen Firma hat,
braucht er sich selbst nicht um seine „Weiterbildung“ zu kümmern,
dass tun die schon!
Ich war 1986 dabei als wir in Thailand ein Werk aufgebaut haben,
jeder Thai Ingenieur in Ausbildung den wir eingestellt und weitergebildet haben,
hat Karriere gemacht. Vorausgesetzt er wollte es und war bereit auch ins Ausland zu gehen. Viele Thai Ingenieure von uns arbeiten heute noch in Mexico,Brasilien,
den USA,Europa und vor Allem Japan!
Ich geh mal davon aus dass das Jüngelchen der Arbeitswelt entfliehen wollte.
Deshalb auch die Anhänglichkeit zu Mami, denn irgendjemand musste das
teure Leben in den USA ja finanzieren.
Im Übrigen, selbst die Thai die nicht ausser Landes wollen werden von
japanischen Firmen gefördert.
Unsere ältere Ziehtochter hat bei Toyota Karriere gemacht obwohl sie
sich geweigert hat zur Fortbildung ins Ausland zu gehen.
Nein, dies ist nur eine Story die auf die Tränendrüsen drücken soll
um von Thai Faulheit und Arroganz abzulenken.
Und nun zur Kritik an den unfähigen Ami Behörden:
Diese kommt von Thai Behörden die noch nicht mal in der Lage sind
eine Leiche die 20m von der Unfallstelle entfernt elendiglich verreckt ist
zu finden!
Na ja und was Rassenhass angeht:
Wer Thai versteht und offenen Auges und Ohres als Farang durch
Thailand geht weiss wie verblüffend ähnlich die den Trumpisten sind!

  berndgrimm(Zitat)  (Antwort)

8. September 2017 6:38 pm

<a href="">STIN</a>: Ich halte dieses Bild fuer einen FAKE:×315.jpg

hätte man schon aufgedeckt – geht heute über Facebook recht schnell, da tummeln sich 1000e von Experten.
Ne, ist schon echt.

HIER liest doch keiner mit!! 5555

<a href="">STIN</a>: Die können nicht fliegen.

:Liar: DAS war eine total schlechte Wetterlage!!!
Was bist du nur fuer ein „Mensch“?? :Distort:
Der KOTZ-Button geht immer noch nicht!
Nimm deine Pillen , bevor du wieder SchnappAtmung bekommst!

8. September 2017 10:36 am

Ich halte dieses Bild fuer einen FAKE:×315.jpg

Fuer so etwas zu erleben braucht man nicht in die Ferne zu streben:

Chinesische Touristen von Sturzflut erfasst, eine Frau ertrinkt

Ich moechte nicht, dieser Beitrag wird von hier verschoben. Ich habe ihn bewusst hier gepostet!
Wie man sieht, koennen die Thais auch Menschen bergen, braucht also keine Deutschen!

5. September 2017 4:31 am

Ich möchte in diesem Fall mal auf die Nazi Parolen der Edel Thai
Presse eingehen!
Sowohl in der Nation als auch in khaosod hat man die Amis
beschuldigt nicht schnell genug , nicht umfassend genug
und nicht prioritär genug nach den 2 Edelthai Leichen
gesucht zu haben.

Ich kenne den Park und die Gegend dort ziemlich genau.
Dort wir mit vielen Schildern (Englisch und Piktogramm)
davor gewarnt im Park vorsichtig und langsam zu fahren
und die Piste keinesfalls zu verlassen.
In Handzetteln am Eingang wird auch extra geschrieben
dass Rettungsteams in der Schlucht nur zu Fuss und
langsam vorankommen.
Vor 20 Jahren ist da niemand mit dem Heli reingeflogen.
Höchstens als Stunt!
Tatsache ist, die Thai waren selbst schuld weil sie nie
richtig autofahren gelernt haben.
Obwohl sie seit Jahren in den USA lebten!
Die meisten Amis können übrigens auch nicht richtig Autofahren.
Da sind sie garnicht so weit von den Thai weg.
Aber von denen würde keiner die Behörden dafür verantwortlich
machen dass man selber zu blöd zum Autofahren ist.
Höchstens wenn ein Versicherungsbetrug möglich ist.

In Thailand hätten die Behörden sie bis Heute noch nicht lokalisiert!
Selbst mit GPS nicht!

6. September 2017 3:47 am
Reply to  berndgrimm

Auch in der BP gibts heute als Nachruf nochmal Thai Nazi Parolen
vorher hatte die BP eigentlich recht sachlich berichtet:

Relatives of two exchange students from Thailand who were killed in California are planning funeral ceremonies after their bodies were pulled from a mangled rental car lodged on boulders in the middle of a river, a Thai diplomat said on Tuesday.

A recovery team reclaimed the two bodies on Friday from the car in the Kings River near Fresno, more than a month after it careened down a cliff on July 26.

Relatives of the two victims endured weeks of waiting before the team felt it was safe to enter the dangerous rapids deep in a gorge.

„It was agonising for them,“ said Tanee Sangrat, consul at the Consulate-General in Los Angeles. The relatives have come to „accept the fates of their loved ones,“ he said.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office used a helicopter to lower the recovery team into the river. They used a hand wench to pull the car to the riverbank and free the bodies.

Crime scene analysts used fingerprints to confirm that the victims were Pakapol Chairatnathrongporn, 28, and his friend Thiwadee Saengsuriyarit, 24.

They were students at the University of South Florida and were visiting Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada when their car crashed through a guardrail and plunged into the river.

The story has gripped Thailand, Mr Tanee said.

Authorities have not yet released the cause of death. Fresno officials turned over the remains to a funeral home and relatives will have them cremated before a ceremony expected later this week at a temple in North Hollywood, Thai and Fresno County officials said.

Relatives of Thiwadee will take her ashes back to Thailand, while Pakapol’s cremated remains will be scattered in California because „he loved the US.“

Und wieder sind 2 heroische Thai in Farang Feindesland den Heldentod
Zu Hause wäre ein einfacher Tagesausflug auf bestens ausgebauten Strassen
schon saugefährlich wegen zu fauler und unfähiger Polizei und dadurch
bedingter absoluter Anarchie auf den Strassen sowie fehlende Fahrausbildung ,Fahrprüfung oder überhaupt wenigstens etwas gesunden Menschenverstand.
Dafür hat man im Überfluss Selbstüberschätzung,Selbstbeweihräucherung
und Selbstmitleid.
Und natürlich jede Menge Fremdenhass.

4. September 2017 12:21 pm

<a href="">STIN</a>: kann man nun auch suchen. Jetzt können sie es.

Hat man Thais abgeordnet, die eine DNA
VOR der Einaescherung durchgefuehrt haben?!!!

4. September 2017 12:16 pm

<a href="">STIN</a>: kann man nun auch suchen. Jetzt können sie es.

Auf meiner LieblingsInselGruppe waren bem letzten Tsunami 3 Ranger stationiert. Zwei konnte man retten, die Tintenfische hatten ihnen nach zwei Tagen die halben Fuesse abgefressen. TAKKI hat jede fremde Hilfe, ausser Geld(!?) abgelehnt.
Er hat aber auch bei 5.000 Toten das Zahlen eingestellt. Nicht nur an Wochenenden.

4. September 2017 11:56 am

STIN: Ja, ich hätte die Deutschen geholt, die hätten das schneller erledigt.

Neee,…neee,..die Besten, Schnellsten und die Fähigsten auf unserem Planeten sind ohne Zweifel die Thais!

Aber da fällt mir etwas ein:

Warum gab es denn JETZT BEI DIESER AKTION von fremden Nationen keinen ur-typischen Gesichtsverlust hinsichtlich der Unfähigkeit, die Opfer selber zu bergen?

Bei den Doppel-Morden auf Koh Tao hingegen haben Sie mir geschrieben, dass die TH-Behörden keine fremde Hilfe von Scotland Yard in Anspruch nehmen wollten…

…… bzw. die TH-Behörden haben absichtlich die DNA-Analyse der englischen Forensiker nicht bei der Gerichtsverhandlung erwähnt und zwar wegen Gesichtsverlust und so…!!!

  Sozial-Jango(Zitat)  (Antwort)

4. September 2017 11:25 am

<a href="">STIN</a>: na ging doch.
Ich wusste, man kann da mit einem Heli reinfliegen.

Nachdem man eine Woche mit 60 Leuten und zwei Hubschraubern geuebt hat.
Wer zahlt die Rechnung?
Anfang August sind nicht weit davon zwei Chinesen mit dem Auto in die selbe Schlucht gestuerzt. Die sind aber wohl noch nicht aufgetaucht.